Super Bowls draw massive television ratings regardless of matchups and game results, but it never hurts to have one of the most dramatic, controversial finishes in football history.

So it was for NBC in Super Bowl XLIX, which now ranks as the most-watched program in American TV history.

The Patriots' 28-24 victory over the Seahawks attracted an average audience of 114.4 million, according to Nielsen, surpassing the then-record 112.2 million for last year's game at MetLife Stadium.

The game's rating, which measures the percentage of homes tuned in, was 47.5, the best such number since Super Bowl XX in 1986 and the fourth best ever. Five of the other top six are from 1986 or earlier, in a much less fractured media environment.

Viewership peaked at 120.8 million from 9:45 to 10 p.m., as the Patriots were in the final stages of their comeback.

New York ranked 47th among the 56 major markets Nielsen measures with a 46.6 rating. The top five were Boston (61.0), New Orleans (55.7), Phoenix (55.6), Detroit (55.0) and Norfolk (55.0).

Seattle ranked only 17th with a rating of 52.1, but its share estimate - which calculates a percentage only of those TVs actually in use - was an astounding 89.

Super Bowl ratings are difficult to calculate because so many people watch outside their homes at parties or in bars and restaurants. The figures are widely assumed to be under-estimated.

The halftime show featuring Katy Perry averaged a 48.2 rating and a record 118.5 million viewers.

Meanwhile, ESPN said viewers watched 7,167,864,300 minutes of NFL programming on its networks in the week leading up to the game, or 13,628 years' worth. That's how long it sometimes felt.